Shoes for the Coker

I have pinned pedals and currently ride with my running shoes which tend to be difficult to shift while riding because of the groves that run from one side of the shoe to the other. Which shoes should I get for the Coker and the pedals with pins?

I use hightop basketball shoes. Relatively little crazy tread. Ankles protected from hub hits. Cheep.

I have hightop converse all stars, for the colder weather. Low tops for the warmer weather.
But I have no COker.

Pair o’ Vans. Nice flat bottoms with grippy rubber, and ridges. they are my Unicycling Shoe

skate shoes in my opinion are the best for unicycling…

I always use skate shoes for riding, the flat bottom, and the stiff sole (if you feel like you can hook your toes around the pedal as you grip it, your soles are not stiff!)

I have only bought Airwalks or Vans for riding since discovering their fantasticness while riding

i second the skate shoes. or if you really wanna save your ankles get some 661 duallies. they’ve got hard plastic in the ankle areas of the high top part. and the grip like crazy.

I always ride with Globe skate shoes. I’ve never worn a pair out. I’m on my third pair, which look so sweet.

I just use whatever shoes I have on when I feel like riding (usualy cons or combat boots).

Whatever you use, make sure they do not have long laces that can get caught in the pedal.

There is nothing worse than zooming along on a coker at full speed and discovering your laces have wrapped around the pedals. They tighten until you can’t turn the pedal any more and then boom!

Instant face plant at high speed.

I now ride my coker with laceless shoes after having this happen to me three times in the past couple of years.

I like having shoes that stay put on the pedals. I ride my Coker with 125 mm cranks and a basic pair of sneakers. The pins do a good job on most any soft-bottomed shoe.

In the past, I wore turf shoes (with knobbies on the bottom) for all forms of riding because the hardest kind was Freestyle, where we used plastic pedals (so we wouldn’t destroy our lower legs). But the turf shoes are overkill on pinned pedals. They don’t necessarily grip as well as a plain old pair of Converse.

I think the time has come for unicycle shoes. There may be a bike version of this; I haven’t looked. What I would like is a shoe with a stiff bottom, like all bike shoes, but a rubber sole with some “give” in it. Since we won’t be using cleats or similar bolt-on stuff, we just need a nice tread to match well with our pedals. That and a stiff-soled shoe should be much better than mushy sneakers at transferring power to the pedals.

Back to the original post, practice learning how to shift your feet around on the pedals. Move your heel from side to side to loosen them up, and just make tiny movements at a time. It gets pretty easy with practice.

My Coker shoes have long laces but I tuck the ends of the laces under the cross laces. The laces have never gotten loose after being tucked in like that (see attached pic).

Riding a Coker with laces that are loose and flopping around is dangerous, very dangerous. A high speed UPD with your lace wrapped around the pedal or crank would be devastating. You wouldn’t be able to get your foot off the pedal. You wouldn’t be able to catch yourself on the landing. One foot would still be attached to the uni during and after the crash. It would be ugly and painful and probably result in broken bones. If that doesn’t scare people enough to make them tuck in their laces when riding a Coker I don’t know what will.


I have these bad boys on my Coker…

Brooklyn Machine Works Shinburgers (except mine are all-black)

With those pedals, regular sneakers provide comfortable grip except in the rain. Then I wear my 661s. Shinburgers plus 661s equals super-grip.

I think you just have to experiment until you find a pedal / shoe combination that feels best for you (try all the shoes you have to get a better feel for tread patterns and rubber softness and the resulting grip with your particular pedals). And practice the skill of adjusting your foot position. The 661s are so grippy on the Shinburgers that it’s a bit annoying (I should practice one-foot riding so I can lift my foot off the pedal without crashing).

But I’m posting mainly to echo Peter’s and John’s advice about shoelaces and to say thank you to everyone here. When I started unicycling two and a half years ago, I was warned on this forum of the dangers of loose shoelaces. So, I have had a healthy paranoia of dangling shoelaces right from the start.

Peter – I was horrified and full of empathy (I really felt your pain) when I read “after having this happen to me”… but then I got to the part that said “three times” and all the empathy drained out of me suddenly. THREE TIMES??? Once, I feel for you. Twice, you had a string of bad luck. But three times? … :slight_smile:

The choice of pedal makes a big difference in how easy it is to reposition your feet. Pedals with a big square platform are harder to adjust your feet on that pedals with the DX style shape (pedals like the Wellgo’s, Shimano MX-30, Sun Ringle Zu Zu, etc.).

I have the Sun Ringle Zu Zu pedals on my Coker. They make it pretty easy to adjust my feet. I can walk my foot over the pedal without needing to completely remove my foot from the pedal. I tilt my foot to the outside so that I’m only making contact with the pedal right near the dust cap. From there it is easy to pivot my foot around to get a new position on the pedal. My foot never completely leaves the pedal. You can’t do that kind of maneuver with big square pedals because you can’t disengage your foot from the corners of the pedal to pivot. The shape of the DX pedals makes that foot position maneuver possible.


I tie my shoes with the bow towards the outside of the shoe. On the right side for the right shoe and on the left side for the left shoe. Then I double knot the laces. Keeps them away from the pedals and keeps them from coming loose.

Sometimes I do like JC suggests and put the extra through the laces.

A shoe lace wrapped in a crank scares the begebbies out of me.

I wear vans for riding. Coker, freestyle and MUni. I’ve gotten my last three pairs for $35.00 each. I watch for them on sale at JC Penneys. That’s pretty cheap in my book.

Added benefit for the vans is that my 13 year old niece thought they were cool. :sunglasses:


Just before you posted I was writing a detailed post about my new shoes on

Or for those without militairy or riot-police experience: you could put your laces in your shoe. I always do it by habit.

Shoes and Pedals

I ride my Coker on and off road 5-8 miles a day and use Wellgo’s and Vans. Vans are the answer. Just tuck those laces in. Everyone is correct, it will not feel to good if they get stuck in the cranks
It took a ton of riding before I found this match which is like glue.
If you want your feet to stay on the pedals try them, you will not regret it.

cheap hiking shoes are really good.
I’ve a pair of Hi-Techs that cost me £20, which were only bought on a trip as I’d forgotten my usual ones. Offer a very good grip on pins, and a nice flexible-ish sole. more durable than (what I usually go for) the posers stuff.